How to Start Fire Logs

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Split fire logs are essential to building a roaring fire in your fireplace. However, you can't simply take a lighted match to one of these logs and expect it to start burning. You need a starter made up of smaller pieces of wood and paper that will ignite more easily, starting a fire that eventually gets the logs to burn. There are a couple of methods you can use to start fire logs.

Things You'll Need

  • Split fire logs
  • Kindling
  • Newspaper
  • Match or lighter

Parallel Burning

  • Place two split logs on fireplace's firebox floor, laying the logs parallel to one another with space between them.

  • Twist sheets of newspaper -- use standard newspaper, not paper that is either coated or colored -- and place the twisted pieces in the space between the two logs.

  • Place kindling wood on top of the newspaper and place more of the kindling across the logs. These wood pieces should not be more than an inch in width.

  • Light the newspaper and look for it to ignite the kindling and eventually the logs.

Top-Down Burning

  • Place three to four logs on the fireplace's firebox floor.

  • Lay a layer of kindling across the logs, using several kindling pieces. It can help to place a second layer of smaller pieces perpendicular to the first layer.

  • Roll four to five sheets of newspaper, rolling them diagonally from corner to corner. Tie the rolled sheets into a loose knot and place them on top of the kindling.

  • Light the paper and look for the fire to make its way down to the kindling and then to the logs.

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  • Photo Credit Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images
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